Phillies Make Rule 5 Draft Pick, Lose Tocci
The Phillies went into this morning's Rule 5 draft picking third, with draft order picked by the season-end rankings. The Detroit Tigers picked first and selected outfielder Victor Reyes from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Second, San Francisco Giants selected pitcher Julian Fernandez from the Colorado Rockies. The third and fourth picks both affected the Phillies.
With the third overall pick, the Phillies selected flamethrowing pitcher Nick Burdi. Burdi is an interesting name. Able to throw 100 miles an hour, the 2014 Twins second round pick is not going to pitch in 2018 thanks to Tommy John surgery. This means that he is not a good fit with the Phillies.
However, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies are likely to trade Burdi.
Whoever ends up with Burdi faces great challenges to keep him. According to Rule 5 draft rules, the player must spend the entire season on the active roster. A disabled list stint is okay, but a minimum of 90 days active on the major league roster is required. Burdi will not satisfy this requirement.
So, the acquiring team will have to carry Burdi on the 40-man roster all offseason, place him on the 60-day disabled list after Spring Training, reactivate him next offseason, keep him on the 40-man roster all next offseason, and then try again in 2019. The Phillies do not have such roster flexibility.
The fourth pick went to the Chicago White Sox, who picked from the Phillies system. Left unprotected by the Phillies, the White Sox selected outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Phillies. Tocci was ranked number 23 on the MLB Pipeline top 30 Phillies prospects.
Tocci does not project to be a star major league player, and perhaps will not be a starting major league player. But, with strong defensive skills, Tocci could find himself as a productive major league bench player.
The Phillies probably would have preferred to keep Tocci around, but they needed their roster spots for players with a higher ceiling. Not all hope is lost, though. The White Sox will have to carry Tocci on their major league roster all season for the Phillies to lose him. After losing Hoby Milner to the Indians in last year's Rule 5 draft, the Phillies got him back towards the end of Spring Training.